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Jeannie Mai: Everything in Singapore revolves around shopping

Desiree Pakiam
Fashion Season Shopping
21 June 2012

Jeannie Mai, the host of Style Network’s ‘How Do I Look’ , is convinced that Singapore is the ‘city of malls’.

The Asian American, who has visited Singapore on several occasions, said this in response to the question on whether Singaporean’s dressing was really a disaster as world-renowned designer Roland Mouret mentioned during his stopover at the Audi Fashion Festival 2012.

In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, the Frenchman said that he saw many fashion disasters during his time here, particularly on men, like the wrong shorts with the flip-flops.

Mai, 32, did not agree with him. The celebrity stylist, whose father is Chinese, learnt at a young age on the importance of dressing up. She credits her Vietnamese mother for helping to develop her passion for fashion while growing up in the US.

“First of all, I think Singaporeans are one of the first women on the planet to know about shopping. Because if you know Singapore, you would know that it is basically the city of malls.

“I mean women spend their time shopping. They spend their break ups over shopping. They exercise over shopping. Everything is involved around shopping.

“To say that women don’t know how to shop and style themselves there is completely false.

“I also think that Singaporean women have a very unique sense of style. I think they love to be eclectic. They love to be street. They love to be rock and roll, and a lot of different styles.”

Her celebrity friends, Katy Perry, Kelly Osbourne and Kimora Lee, also love Singapore because there are so many things that inspire them.

“They feel that Singaporeans are very into styling themselves and have a unique sense of fashion.”

The fashion expert definitely knows what she is talking about. On top of being the host of highly-successful makeover show ‘How Do I Look?’ on the Style Network, she considers herself a professional wearapist.

“A therapist uses psychology and different type of techniques for people to feel better about themselves through processes of thought and action, while I get women to feel better about themselves through the way they dress,” she explained.

What she doesn’t want to encourage is dressing for trend or fashion. “Because if you buy something trendy then you have to worry about whether you can use next season and if you buy something fashionable, then you are just going as a label. I want to teach women that you can dress for potential, you can dress for the things you want in life.”

Her ultimate dream is to transform woman through ‘wearaphy’.

“Women have so many responsibilities and they internalize a lot of things and have a lot of pressure. They should realize that their life is very valuable.”

Jeannine Mai’s fashion tips:

For a job interview: “I am not going to wear a white button up pantsuit and a black blazer. I am going in a colour that says I am intelligent and I have energy. That would be a citrus colour like yellow, orange and melon. I will stand out and show my assertiveness if I wear an energetic colour.”

For a first date: “Because I would want to make a good impression, I would wear cashmere or velvet. I would wear very approachable colours like peach and nude and beige, just to allow my date to feel comfortable around me.”

For a speaking engagement or presentation: “I would channel my passionate colours like purple or red or bright hot pink for female empowerment. There are certain colours that you wear, so that you send a message before you say anything.”

Jeannie Mai is the digital correspondent for reality show ‘Fashion Star’, which will premiere on June 25, Mondays at 930pm only on DIVA Universal. She is also the host of ‘How Do I Look?’ on E! Entertainment and Style Network.

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